Obama disappointed me during his moment of glory. It started with the double fumble while taking the oath (Michelle's face was worth watching during those tense few seconds), and carried on from that point to a weak finale. Of course, the well -rehearsed speech had its moments (come on, if the President of the United States of America, with his team of speech writers can't get it right, who can?), but his crucial bhaashan lacked dum of the kind expected on such a historic occasion. I thought his rousing 'Yes, we can..." address right after his nomination, was far more effective and stirring. Deconstructing this one, what was my take away?? Frankly, I don't really know. Apart from mentioning world religions (okay Hindoos, you count - but Buddhists and Sikhs obviously don't) and stressing on diversity (current buzz word internationally), I really don't understand what he was pushing. The only time he touched my heart was when he paid a tribute to American servicemen - that sounded genuine. But the ominous words , "America in decline '' right at the start of the speech, were negative, even though they are true. Americans don't need to be reminded of that scenario at this point - and certainly not by a brand new President. His reference to his ancestors was not required, either. Did our former Dalit President keep harping on his roots? Never! Did Abdul Kalam talk about being a Muslim in a predominantly Hindu country? Never! Obama personalised his status by bringing his father into the speech ("60 years ago, he would have been refused service at a restaurant"). These sort of reminders cause pain and the world needs positive reinforcement rather than an opening up of old wounds. Obama resembled a sharply dressed news anchor, an Oscar's host, a show biz moghul.But that apart, I felt let down by his content. Now... let's see him in action. His time begins now!
My jaw dropped listening to Sanjay Dutt - and more so - listening to Maanyata - holding forth on their political ambitions. There is a limit to the public's tolerance in such matters. Or ought to be. If Sanjay can claim with a straight face that he sees himself as a 'leader', not a politician, and insist he wants to 'serve the people' (pray tell us, how?), and those statements go unchallenged by an awestruck anchor (really Mahrukh!) sorry, but we disgrace ourselves in accepting his words at face value. Not just Sanjay, but any convicted individual must be debarred from contesting the elections. Ditto for illiterate candidates. Citizens have the right to push for these basic reforms before it is too late. As for sati savitree Maanyata's virtuous admission that she seeks her husband's permission before going out for coffee with her friends..... wow!! she's come a long way - from pole dancing to political shamming. Shades of Eva Peron?? Maybe we deserve them both. Shall we distribute a few jadu ki jhappis in their honour?